"The Freak Zone?" Adam Park raised an eyebrow at his lunch
companions. "I hadn't heard that particular appellation before."
"No kidding? But you live there," replied Matt Walton, his roommate. "I mean, Angel Grove's probably dead center."
"What's the Freak Zone?" Riley Collins asked. She had just come in, and had missed most of the conversation.
Charlene Gillis, a blond girl who strongly reminded Adam of Billy, explained. "It's that area in California with all those monsters and superheroes and stuff. It runs from just south of San Francisco to just north of LA, and almost out to the mountains. It's northern edge is usually defined as Cross World City, where some robotic people called the 'VR Troopers' are, and south is Leawood, home to the 'Masked Rider.' Charterville, where the Beetleborgs are, is the eastern edge, and Angel Grove, on the coast, is on the west, smack dab in the middle. Adam here is from Angel Grove."
"And they call it the Freak Zone, huh?" Riley shook her head. Her short red hair shone in the light of the cafeteria, nearly blinding them. "Why are there so many superheroes?"
Charlene shrugged. "Nobody knows. Scientists think it might have something to do with radiation, or geomagnetics. My dad says it's just because Californians are weird. Adam, why do you think there's so many heroes out there?"
Adam grinned. "Because there's so many villains." The others groaned, and he quickly continued. "No, I'm serious. Someone once asked the Power Rangers why the monsters attacked Angel Grove all the time. The Blue Ranger explained that it was because that whole area, the one you call the Freak Zone, is situated on a forest of ley line nexuses, where lines of natural magic intersect. There are five major ones in that area. The biggest one is in Angel Grove, but the other three towns you've mentioned have ones almost as large. Villains are attracted by the power of the lines, and that's why they always attack those places."
"You said there were five nexuses," Matt pointed out. "Where's the fifth?"
"It's the smallest of the five, although it's still pretty big. It's located under a much smaller town called North Valley, north and east of Angel Grove, so it's north of Charterville. It doesn't seem to have any superheroes or villains, but they do have a lot of computer malfunctions, which might be due to the power problems."
"My cousin Sam lives out there," Riley mused. "He never mentioned anything like that, but he gets real defensive if I ask about his computer."
"Weird," Matt shrugged. "So, Adam, what's it like, living in the Freak Zone? Is it dangerous?"
"Nah," Adam replied. "You just head for the shelters whenever there's a monster alert. Now, if you'll all excuse me, I've got to get to class." He rose and took his tray back to the kitchen.
* * *
Trevor Park sighed, squinting in the mid-January sun. One of the problems of being a Homicide detective in that town was the fact that you didn't have all that much to do. As a general rule, people in Angel Grove didn't kill each other, unless they were in the harbor district. Those cases were usually fairly cut and dried, as well, so Homicide didn't have much work. As a result, they were forced to earn their salaries by pulling double-duty, as what was generally referred to by the other cops as "The Monster Squad." They checked out monster sightings and incursions, determining what was actually monster damage and what had been done by human beings.
Normally Trevor didn't mind being on "The Monster Squad." It gave him the opportunity to keep an eye on his children, the Green Rangers. With Adam at college, that left him only Franklin, but the younger boy was just as good at getting into trouble as his older brother. No, normally monster duty was fine with Trevor. It was days like this one that really bugged him.
Divatox's latest creation, Billy the Squid, had destroyed most of the warehouse district. To make matters worse, the "walking sushi bar," as Blue Turbo had described it to him, had been armed with poisonous barbs, one of which had caught Green Turbo directly in the chest. The boy had gone into shock from the toxin, and his heart had stopped. Trevor, who had already been down there, had been forced to watch helplessly as Red and Pink Turbo had performed CPR on their unconscious friend. Luckily, they had been able to restart Franklin's vital functions while Blue and Yellow Turbo had used the Zords to destroy the squid monster. Now Trevor was absorbed in the most distasteful part of his job- dealing with the press.
"Detective Park, what happened here?" Lois Kent, one of the reporters from the Angel Grove Chronicle asked him. "Why did the Power Rangers allow the squid monster to destroy nearly half of the city?"
Trevor looked behind her and saw her partner, Clark Lane, wince. He suppressed a chuckle. Lois Kent was known for asking questions without considering the feelings of the subject, especially when she got caught up in a story. Lane, on the other hand, was a little more sensitive. Lois was the more annoying member of the pair, but Trevor often thought that Clark was more dangerous, being more observant.
"Is the Green Ranger all right?" another voice asked. Parker O'Neil pushed his way through the crowd, smiling charmingly at Lois as she gave him a glare.
Trevor grinned. "Yes, the Green Ranger is fine," he replied, although he could barely hold back a shudder at the memory of seeing his son's unmoving body crashing to the ground, a squid barb buried in his chest.
"I couldn't help but notice that the Red and Pink Rangers seemed to be performing CPR," Clark Lane interjected.
Trevor winced. He had been able to keep the reporters far enough away that they had been unable to recognize Franklin and Rosa when their helmets were off, but he had not been able to keep them from seeing everything.
A flash of red light appeared, and suddenly Red Turbo stood by Detective Park's side. "The Green Ranger's condition is stable," the leader of the Turbo Rangers proclaimed. "He was hit in the chest with one of Billy the Squid's toxic barbs." From the tone of Red Turbo's voice, Trevor could tell that the boy was most likely rolling his eyes at the monster's name. "He went into toxic shock, but we managed to bring him of it. He is recovering nicely, and should be able to serve on the next monster attack."
"Why was so much damage done to the city?" Lois pursued.
"If you hadn't noticed, Miss Kent," Red Turbo replied in clipped tones, "we were a bit short-handed. The Pink Ranger and I were performing CPR on the Green Ranger, which left only two Rangers to pilot the Zord. I'd like to see how you would fare, piloting a large, complex machine, with only two people, against an opponent who has ten tentacles, and only needs to stand on two."
Lois shut up, startled at the tone in the young man's voice. Trevor suppressed a grin with some effort. The original Rangers had been unfailingly polite to the press, and Trevor could not remember ever hearing one of them snap in that manner. He was rather happy to know that the current team would verbally defend themselves if necessary.
"Any other questions?" Red Turbo asked.
Clark Lane stepped forward. "This monster seemed to be harder to defeat than usual, and I believe this is the first one to deal a Power Ranger a life-threatening injury. Is this a trend, or only a one-time thing?"
Red Turbo regarded him for a moment. "The Squid was not the first monster to nearly kill a Ranger, but the others were all major villains. This was the first throwaway to do so, that is true. However, this monster was made taking advantage of a natural phenomenon that will not occur for another millenium, at least. You won't have to worry about monsters as strong as the Squid for some time, and we have taken steps to protect against such creatures in the future." He was silent for a moment, then, seeing that no one else had any questions, he nodded.
"That's all for now. Oh, Mr. Lane, Mr. O'Neil, we'd like to thank you for your help in evacuating some of the buildings. If it hadn't been for the two of you, there might have been some serious casualties. Thank you for your help." In a flash of red, he disappeared.
Lois shot Clark a glance, and he simply blushed. As the crowd of reporters broke up, the two of them walked off. Trevor could still hear Lois lecturing Clark about putting himself in danger. Her tall, dark-haired partner was nodding, obviously not listening to a word she said.
Parker chuckled, turning towards Trevor. The two of them were now the only ones left in the area, as the rest of the police had left at the same time as the reporters. "He's really a good guy, you know," the reporter mused aloud.
Trevor nodded. "Yeah, I like him too. It's just that wherever he goes, she goes too."
"Well, she may be abrasive, but she's got a hell of a nose for news." Regarding the other man, Parker suddenly changed the subject. "Are you all right? You look kind of pale. What happened to day must have been a real shock."
Trevor's response was a short, humorless laugh. "'Shock' is one word for it. Every time I think I've gotten used to the fact that my sons are Power Rangers, something like this happens, and I remember why I didn't like the idea in the first place. Still, it's so important to them that I wouldn't dream of asking them to give it up. How's your sister, by the way?"
Parker shrugged. "She's enjoying college. She's got a job at a dojo, made some good friends, and she was nearly kidnapped by skugs the other day."
"Like Cogs, only dumber. She said it wasn't a problem." Before Trevor could reply, a golden light flashed off to their right. The two of them turned, half-expecting Trey of Triforia, the Gold Ranger, to appear. Instead, six women clad in rather revealing gold armor coalesced out of the light. The two men looked at each other and groaned in unison. "Oh, now what?"
The obvious leader, a vaguely Asian woman with dark eyes and long dark hair, seemed very familiar. Her armor seemed to be styled after the scorpion, and suddenly Parker remembered where he had seen her before. "Oh, shit!" he cried, taking a step back. "That's Scorpina!"
She chuckled. "So, I'm still remembered on this backwater ball of rock. How nice. Girls, take the older one alive. You may do as you wish with the blond."
Trevor and Parker fell into defensive stances as Scorpina and her warriors rushed them. Despite being unarmed, and outnumbered three to one, the two men put up an incredible fight. Parker had managed to find a length of pipe on the street, which had probably come from one of the ruined warehouses. He was using it as if it was a bokken, a wooden practice sword, and managed to block the attacks of the women closing in on him. Trevor, unfortunately, was not doing so well. He was unarmed, and was tiring quickly. Suddenly Scorpina lashed out, slashing him across the chest with her blade. Trevor could feel the wound burning, and realized almost immediately that it had been poisoned. His knees turned to water, and he passed out.
"We have what we came for!" Scorpina cried. "Leave the reporter. Return to base!" In a flash of gold light, they teleported out, taking Trevor with them. Parker hurriedly checked for onlookers, then disappeared as well, heading for the Power Chamber.
* * *
Adam sighed as he walked around the campus. The sun was shining brightly, rare for January in Illinois, and many people were out and about enjoying it. He had just made his way into one of the open areas when two streams of golden light appeared, coalescing into two extremely attractive women dressed in golden armor which showcased their best... attributes. They both seemed to be fairly muscular, and in excellent shape.
"We're looking for Adam Park," the taller one declared. Her blond hair danced in the wind.
"And if we don't get him," the shorter one continued, her green eyes dancing maniacally, "we're going to rip this place apart."
"I'm here," Adam responded, stepping forward. He was uncomfortably aware of all the eyes on him and knew he couldn't morph if worst came to worst.
"Ohh, I see why the lady wants him," the short, black-haired one giggled. "He's handsome."
The blond fixed him with an icy blue stare. "We bring a message from Mistress Scorpina. Surrender, or be taken by force."
Adam raised an eyebrow. "Mistress Scorpina? Don't tell me that witch finally has her own army."
"What, do we look like Girl Scouts?" the shorter one shot back. "We are the Amazons! Twice the warriors of any man on this planet." The way she drawled the word "man," it became a derogatory term.
"Yeah? Well, tell Scorpina that if she expects me to surrender, she's sorely underestimated human beings- again."
"Get him!" The two women charged him, and Adam had to admit, to himself at least, that they were good, very good. All around him, people scattered, and soon the area was completely empty. However, the ladies were not nearly as good as he was, and he quickly proved that fact, beating them soundly. Backing away from him slowly, they stood up.
"Don't think that this is over yet, Park," the blond threatened. "The lady has something you'll be very concerned about- your father. Surrender in two days, or he's history." In a flash of golden light, the two of them disappeared. Adam made for a secluded corner, quickly checked for onlookers, and teleported out.
* * *
The first thing that met Adam's eyes as he materialized in the Power Chamber was his little brother, lying on a cot. Actually, "lying" wasn't quite the correct term. Franklin was struggling to sit up while Fred and Rosa attempted to make him lie down.
Looking up, Rosa noted Adam's presence. "Adam, make him listen to reason," she pleaded. "Tell him to lie down!"
"What happened? He looks so pale."
"Divatox let loose her newest monster, Billy the Squid. It shot Franklin in the chest with a poisoned barb. We had to restart his heart," Fred replied. "He should not be trying to get up."
"I'm fine!" the younger Park brother protested. "Accelerated healing and all that. Besides, if you think I'm gonna just lie here while some witch steals my dad, you've got another think coming!"
"I would imagine that that is why you are here, Adam," Zordon rumbled.
Adam nodded. "Yeah. Some of Scorpina's goons showed up at Northwestern. If we want my father back, I have to go with her."
"Go with her?" Parker echoed, startling Adam, who had not seen the other man.
"Yeah. See, Zedd once tried to get rid of me by having Scorpina pose as a girl named Sabrina, who would pretend to like me, and then destroy me while my guard was down. She almost did, but we managed to beat her. Unfortunately for me, she seems to have developed an attraction for me." He made a face. Then a thought struck him. "She didn't really name the monster 'Billy the Squid,' did she?"
Now it was Zordon's turn to roll his eyes. When the monster had first appeared, one of his biggest problems had been getting the Turbo Rangers off the subject of the name.
"Yup," Fred was saying. "It took us ten minutes to stop laughing. The worst was the fact that it spoke with a really bad Western drawl."
Adam shook his head. "Billy the Squid. Yuck."
"If I may interrupt," Zordon rumbled, "there is still the problem of Scorpina. What do you plan to do about her ultimatum, Adam?"
Adam sighed. "I guess I'll have to do what she says. I can't let Dad get hurt."
"You can't just give in to her!" Franklin cried, finally pushing away his friends and rising to his feet. He seemed a bit unsteady, but fairly all right. "You think she'll actually let Dad go? Fat chance! Villains don't work that way!"
"How about a rescue?" Fred asked. "You distract her by pretending to agree to Scorpina's demands, and we sneak in and get your dad."
Adam nodded thoughtfully. "That might work, actually."
"If I may make a suggestion," Parker interrupted, "one of you ought to go home and tell your mother what's going on, without mentioning that Adam is a Ranger, of course. If things don't go well, she'll need to know what happened."
Franklin nodded. "I'll do that. It'll prove to all the rest of you that I'm not going to keel over in the next five minutes. Besides, Adam needs to call Scorpina and tell her he gives up."
"You be careful, Franklin," Rosa cautioned him. "I don't care if you have Ranger healing or not, you're still weak."
Franklin just shrugged, pulling out his Turbo Key. "Shift into Turbo! Desert Thunder Turbo Power!" In a flash of light, he became the Green Turbo Ranger, and teleported out in a green column of sparks.
* * *
Meanwhile, up on Scorpina's ship, Trevor Park slowly came to consciousness. Rubbing his head, he sat up and looked around. He was in a featureless room, with white walls and no furniture. He was lying on the white floor, where Scorpina's Amazons had probably tossed him after he had passed out. Rising to his feet, he began examining the walls for any sign of a door or exit.
Suddenly he heard a crackling noise. Turning, he saw that one of the walls of his prison had been replaced with a plush living area. Scorpina sat in a chair, sipping something and regarding him with amusement. Raising an eyebrow, he cocked his head. "Viewscreen?" he asked casually.
Chuckling, she applauded him. She was not wearing her gold armor, he noticed. Instead, she was wearing some sort of long golden gown that flowed around her. "Very good. I see why you're a police detective. Tell me, can you guess why you're here?"
"Let's see. You're a villain, villains don't like the Power Rangers, so I would assume I'm bait of some sort."
"Bait, but not for the Rangers exactly. For one Ranger in particular, an off-duty Ranger. Your son, Adam, in fact."
"Adam? What do you want with Adam? He's not even an active Ranger any more."
Scorpina shrugged. "I don't care about the Rangers. You see, after failing Lord Zedd in a mission he sent me, I fled Earth, not wanting to deal with his wrath. After doing certain... odd jobs for various wealthy and influential beings, I was able to purchase this ship and hire a crew. They're some of the finest thieves and assassins in the galaxy, all quite loyal to me."
"And all women?"
"Of course. Women are far deadlier at such professions than men. Our opponents have a tendency to underestimate us. Besides, I have no need for men in my service. There is only one I'm interested in."
"Adam." It wasn't a question, but Scorpina answered it anyway.
"Yes. The mission I was set was to gain his confidence and then destroy him. I failed, but it was then that I learned how incredible of a warrior he was, and what a team we would make, if I had him by my side."
"So where do I come into this?" Trevor asked sardonically.
"Adam will either trade himself for you in two days' time, or I will destroy you. The choice is his." Scorpina's head snapped up. "Oh, you'll have to excuse me, Detective Park. I have another call." The viewscreen then went blank, leaving Trevor to think over his fate.
* * *
Eileen Park's eyes widened as she realized who was standing on her front porch. "May I help you?" she asked, vividly remembering the last time she had opened her door to a Power Ranger. "Is something wrong?"
"I'm afraid so," Green Turbo replied gravely, wishing not for the first time that the Rangers did not stay their natural size while morphing. He always felt uncomfortable talking up towards adults. "May I come in, please?"
"Oh, yes," she replied, stepping out of the way. He walked past her, turning and heading for the living room. "Please, sit down," she offered. He thanked her and took a seat.
"Mrs. Park, I'm afraid there's some trouble, and it once again surrounds your family. You see, a few years ago, Lord Zedd disguised one of his minions as a human girl to try and sneak up on us. Unfortunately, she became interested in your older son, Adam. Now she's back, and she wants your son. She's kidnapped your husband and plans to exchange him for Adam. We plan to attempt a rescue, but- it might not work," he finished. It was hard for Green Turbo to maintain his professional demeanor. He was worried about his father, about his brother, and about his mother's reaction to his news. In addition, he was still feeling the effects of the Squid's toxic barb, and he wanted nothing more than to break down in his mother's arms and have her tell him everything was all right. That was out of the question, however, and so he controlled himself with an effort.
Deciding that he had better leave before his control broke, he rose to his feet. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, ma'am, but I thought you should know."
She rose as well. "I'm going with you," she said abruptly.
Green Turbo's jaw dropped. "What? I'm afraid that's impossible. Scorpina surely has a host of extremely well trained warriors and other assorted goons. We can't be responsible for the safety of a civilian."
"I'm not exactly a civilian," Eileen shot back. "My father was a sulsa, the Korean equivalent of a ninja, and he was also trained in a variety of techniques by the American military. He taught me everything he knew. Also, my husband spent a few years in the military, and also taught me a great deal. I can take care of myself, and if my husband and sons are in danger, you are not leaving me behind!"
Green Turbo shook his head. "I'm sorry, it's just too dangerous!" She cocked her head. "Franklin Alexander Park, don't make me tell you a third time! Ranger or not, I can still turn you over my knee!"
Hearing all three of his names from his mother, who was not supposed to know his identity, was too much of a shock for Green Ranger. The stress of the day and of his injury caught up with him, and he sagged to the carpet in a dead faint.
* * *
"So, Adam," Scorpina chuckled cruelly. "Have you come to a decision?"
Adam didn't need to feign the anger burning inside him, or the helplessness he felt. He glared at her with all the emotion he possessed. "Yes," he spat, "I have. I'll do what you want. Just let my father go!"
"Once you are on my ship, Adam, and not before," she replied with a smile. "In twenty minutes, I will be ready to teleport you up to my ship. Be in the park by the Sentinel Statue, if it's still standing. Do you understand?"
He growled, but nodded. "Yes, I understand. I'll be there. And Scorpina, if you even think about double-crossing me, you will regret it for the rest of your very short life," he promised. His voice was low and steady. Swallowing, she broke off the call.
"That's it, then," Adam sighed. "Now we just have to wait for Frank, and we'll try to rescue Dad."
"Adam, what are you going to do while we're wreaking havoc?" Tasha asked, concerned.
Adam made a face. "Distract Scorpina," he replied grimly. "Any way I can."
* * *
"How long have you known?" Franklin asked his mother incredulously. After awakening in his living room, he had demorphed, since his mother already knew who he was. Then he had been forced to explain why he had fainted, and she had of course made a lot of noise about the squid barb. Finally, though, he had managed to redirect the conversation back where he wanted it.
"Well, I didn't know for sure until right before I said your name. I'd suspected something was up when we moved to Angel Grove, and Adam's grades dropped suddenly, then went back up. After Adam and your father disappeared that time a year and a half ago, I was pretty sure that Adam was a Ranger. The fact that the changing of the Ranger guard came at the same time as Adam's move to college confirmed that. Then I noticed your grades doing the same thing that Adam's did when he became a Ranger, and you started wearing a watch just like your father wears, which he started wearing after his adventure with the Rangers. The final clue came when you knew exactly where the living room was, instead of having to be directed there."
Franklin shook his head. "Grandpa sure taught you a lot, didn't he?" he smiled.
"Yes," she replied. "And I'm going with you."
Franklin shrugged. "Far be it from me to try and tell you what to do. But Mom? Could you not tell the guys that I passed out? They've been on my case about taking it easy ever since the squid shot me, and I'm fine. I really am. It was just the shock."
"Well, if you check out as physically fit to go save the world, I won't tell anybody that you passed out on my carpet. Come on." Franklin took his mother's hand, and the two of them teleported to the Power Chamber.
* * *
Standing by the Sentinel statue, Adam looked around himself nervously. He really hated this plan, with every fiber of his being. The only problem was, it was the best one they had. He didn't trust Scorpina in the least, and knew that she would not release the one hold she had over his behavior. He also knew that using himself as bait was the only way to get the others onto the ship, but he didn't like the idea. And he really didn't like the idea of putting his mother in danger. Still, he knew that she was very good at taking care of herself, and they wouldn't have had much luck leaving her behind. Besides, in a strange way, it was comforting to know that his mother would be watching out for him. He pitied any of Scorpina's Amazons who went up against his mother in hand-to-hand combat.
Suddenly he felt his body covered with the tingling sensation that teletransport caused, and crossed his fingers tightly. Zordon and Alpha would have only a few seconds to try and slip the Rangers and his mother through the hole in Scorpina's shields that his entry would cause. If they missed, he'd be alone on the ship, with no backup, and little hope of rescue. Forcing those thoughts away, he took a deep breath as he re-solidified. Three well-armed Amazons in gold armor were waiting for them. Adam raised his hands in the universal surrender gesture. "I give up," he sighed. "Take me to your leader."
They led him down a series of corridors, and stopped outside a door that looked no different from any other door lining the corridor. The door slid open, and he was shoved inside. Looking around himself at the extremely posh suite, Adam gulped. "I'm really not going to enjoy this, am I?" he asked the air.
"That all depends on you," a voice replied. Adam whirled to see Scorpina standing in the doorway to one of the other rooms in the suite. She was wearing a loose golden gown that showed off an excellent figure, and her long, black hair tumbled down her back in a shining stream. Adam had to admit it, she was beautiful.
"All right, I'm here," he told her gruffly, trying to conceal the strength of his reaction to her. "Now let my father go."
Smiling like a cat, Scorpina moved a little closer. "Not just yet, Adam. Not until I'm satisfied with your surrender."
He backed up slightly. "What... what do you mean?" he stammered.
She did not answer, simply turned away and picked up a pair of glasses of the table. "Have a drink with me," she offered. "No tricks, I promise. You can even choose which glass you want to drink out of, and I'll serve us from the same bottle."
"What is that stuff?" he asked suspiciously, as she set down the glasses and picked up a bottle made out of some purple glass.
"Meelar water," she replied, pouring two glasses. "It's drunk all over the galaxy. Don't worry, Adam, it's just a drink."
Reaching out, Adam picked up one of the glasses and sniffed it cautiously. It didn't smell like anything but water. He took a careful sip, and found that it was slightly fizzy, and had a taste that was slightly fruity. "All right, I had a drink. Now let my father go."
Scorpina sighed. "Finish your drink, Adam. One would almost think you don't trust me."
He raised an eyebrow, taking another sip from the glass. "I don't."
She chuckled, acknowledging the barb. Raising her glass, she saluted him, and took a long drink.
* * *
"This looks like the brig," Green Turbo said quietly, lowering the Thunder Scanner. "Two bruisers on guard outside, and probably a few more inside, in front of the cells. How do you guys want to handle this?"
"Tasha," Red Turbo said quietly. "I think I found a computer port. Can you hack into the system and find out where they're holding Adam's dad?"
"On it, Fearless Leader," Yellow Turbo replied. Extending the I/O jack from her helmet, she plugged into the computer port, and was soon surfing through cyberspace. "Got it," she reported after a short time. "He's not in there. They've moved him to the arena, three decks up. Apparently they're going to force him to fight Scorpina's best warriors until Adam allows her to plant some sort of controller on him." The other Turbo Ranger shied away from the expression on Eileen Park's face.
"Hmm," Eileen mused to herself. "Franklin, would you say that I'm about the same size as that redhead guarding the door?"
Green Turbo looked again. "Yeah, pretty much. Mom, what are you planning?"
"Do me a favor," she said quietly, ignoring his question. "Keep the other one busy." She slipped away from them, disappearing into the shadows of the corridor.
"Franklin?" Blue Turbo asked quietly. "Is anyone in your family not a GI Joe?"
Green Turbo shrugged. "Not that I know of. Come on, you heard the lady."
"Hey, you!" Pink Turbo called, waving at the two women by the brig. They turned to look at her, and she thumbed her nose at them and ran. The shorter of the pair, a petite brunette, chased after her, leaving the redhead to guard the door. Cutting around a corner, Pink Turbo leaped easily over the tripwire that Green and Red Turbo had strung. He pursuer wasn't so lucky. She tripped over the wire and knocked herself out. They tied her up with the wire, grinning as they listened to the sounds of mayhem from around the corner. Once they were finished, they headed back to the brig.
Eileen had by this time changed into the armor of her unconscious opponent. As the Turbos came back around the corner, Red Turbo whistled, earning him a punch in the shoulder from Green Turbo.
Eileen chuckled. "Thank you, Fred. More to the point, do I look like one of Scorpina's guards?" All five kids nodded. "Good. Now, while I try and find Trevor, you five work on getting me a distraction. First, I want you to break the prisoners out of the brig. It'll cause enough confusion that most of the soldiers won't have any idea what's going on. Besides, no one deserves to be a prisoner here. Then, I want you to get to the control room. Cause as much damage as possible, and see if you can lay in a course for somewhere remote and very unpleasant. Meet me back in the teleportation bay when you're done. Can you handle that?"
Blue Turbo nodded. "You got it, Mrs. Park. Good luck."
"You too, Justin. You too."
* * *
Adam had been unable to find a way around finishing his glass of Meelar water, and now he was beginning to feel a bit woozy. "What is that stuff?" he asked with an effort.
Scorpina, who was on her third glass, just grinned. "A mild intoxicant, somewhat similar in strength to Earth wine. You don't have much of a tolerance, though, do you?" Putting down her glass, she rose and crossed to him. Pulling him to his feet, she kissed him soundly. Adam, already muddled by the effects of the water, found himself kissing back as her arms slipped around him. He managed to pull away, though, when she started to unbutton his shirt.
"Oh no," he replied, pushing her off him. "I'm not that drunk. Where... where's my father? Let him go. You promised," he managed, trying hard to concentrate.
Scorpina sighed. "I had hoped it wouldn't come to this. Come with me." Taking his hand, she led him down a corridor to a balcony overlooking an arena filled with sand. She sat him down in one of the chairs and activated the forcefield over the back of the balcony. "You wanted your father, Adam? There he is."
Adam looked down into the arena to see his father being escorted out of one of the gates by two of Scorpina's guards. "Dad!" he cried, his adrenaline quickly burning away the effects of the Meelar water. "What are you doing?" he asked her furiously.
"Call it... insurance. Your father will fight my best warriors until you agree to wear this." Scorpina held up a golden collar with a large onyx on the front. "It's a control collar. It will allow me to... deal with you if you disobey me. Agree to wear it, and I'll let your father go. If not... well, he may be good, but he can't fight forever."
Adam shook his head. "You'll never let him go, whatever I do. And I sure as hell won't wear a slave collar!"
"Your choice," Scorpina sighed. Lifting her hand, she signaled for the fight to begin.
* * *
"Excuse me." The cell guard turned just in time to receive Blue Turbo's punch to her face. She sank to the floor without a sound. "I really don't like doing that," he remarked.
Yellow Turbo snorted. "What's wrong? Don't like to hit women?"
"I don't like to hit anybody. It hurts!" he shot back, massaging his hand. "Not to mention that I'm not real fond of this entire situation. These women are bigger than I am, much stronger, and are not hampered by concern for human life."
"Quit arguing, both of you," Red Turbo ordered. "Tasha, concentrate on getting that lock open."
"Keep your Spandex on, Fred, I've got it."
The doors to the cells slid open, and beings of every description poured out. One, obviously in charge, resembled a Velociraptor colored by someone with a sick sense of humor. Its scales were sky-blue, lightening to cream on the underside. Completing the picture were two bright violet eyes, full of intelligence and a dancing good humor. Quieting the other beings, the raptor walked over to Red Turbo.
"Our thanks for the rescue, Power Rangers," it rumbled in a deep, gravelly voice.
Red Turbo started. Zordon had told them that the Powers acted as universal translators, but this was the first time he had actually experienced it. "It was an honor. You'd best get these people to the teleport bay. We have a little more business to take care of, but then we'll be able to teleport you all off the ship. Can you handle Scorpina's guards?"
The raptor chuckled. "Oh, I think so. However, Rangers, I think I should come with you. I am Lieutenant Sandsong of the Intergalactic Police department. There are already those who can lead and defend these people against Scorpina's army, and I took an oath to aid in Ranger business at all times."
"We could sure use the help," Blue Turbo told his leader.
Red Turbo nodded. "Okay, Lt. Sandsong, you're in." As the prisoners headed towards the teleport bay, the six moved on to the control room.
* * *
Trevor Park was not enjoying himself at all. As far as he was concerned, his day had been going from bad to worse. Now he was facing six of Scorpina's best warriors, and he knew he wasn't going to be able to keep up the fight much longer. As the women closed in on him, he spared a glance up at the balcony above him. It wasn't any higher than a second story window, but he doubted he'd be able to get up there quickly enough to escape his pursuers. Settling into a fighting stance, he waited for the end.
"Eee-yah!" A shrill battle cry split the air as a golden figure suddenly plowed into the warriors surrounding him. Trevor watched in astonishment as his rescuer, seemingly one of Scorpina's Amazons, sent his attackers flying in all directions. As soon as she had cleared the immediate area, she looked up and smiled at him. "Hello, dear. Have a good day at work?"
Trevor's jaw dropped. "Eileen? What are you doing here?" he asked, moving so that they were back to back.
"It's a rescue, Trevor. By the way, when were you going to tell me that both our sons were Power Rangers?"
Shaking his head, Trevor grinned. "Nothing gets by you, does it?"
Up on the balcony, the last of Adam's reaction to the Meelar water cleared, and he quickly began to think over his options. Deciding that the free-for-all his parents were creating was a good deal safer than remaining with Scorpina, he vaulted over the edge of the balcony. Landing on his feet, he began carving a path through Scorpina's Amazons. "Hi, Mom, Dad," he puffed, reaching them. "I think I should tell you that Scorpina is not happy with this turn of events."
Adam's understatement was punctuated by Scorpina's landing, not far from the Park trio. Growling, she regarded them with cold disdain, then flickered. Her gown became her traditional golden armor, and she pulled her stinger out of its holster by her side. Instantly, Eileen mirrored the gesture, pulling out a slim golden sword. While Adam and his father dealt with Scorpina's army, Eileen and Scorpina began to fight in deadly earnest.
* * *
"I'd say this is the control room, wouldn't you?" Green Turbo asked.
Yellow Turbo nodded. "Yup, this looks like the place. What do we break first?"
Blue Turbo cocked his head. "We destroy everything but the essential consoles. Those over there control life support, and also artificial gravity, by the look of them. Break everything else."
"Wait." Lt. Sandsong held up a claw. "First, allow me to take care of something." The saurian police officer crossed to a console and began typing quickly.
"You're laying in a course?" Red Turbo asked, coming up behind him. "Where to?"
Red Turbo was treated to the rather unsettling experience of a raptor's smile. "IGPF headquarters. They'll arrive all wrapped up in a nice, neat package."
"I like you," Pink Turbo chuckled. The six immediately set to work, and soon had disabled 90 percent of the consoles.
"I've set up a pulse that should start the engines when we're all safely off," Blue Turbo explained. "The ship will head to Intergalactic Police headquarters, and the engines will stop. Now, let's head back to the teleport bay and wait for the rest of the Park family."
"Do you think they're all right?" Red Turbo asked quietly.
Green Turbo chuckled. "Mom, Dad, and Adam? Scorpina and her army don't have a chance."
* * *
Adam and Trevor had finished mopping up the last of Scorpina's army, most of whom lay moaning on the ground in pain. Now they were watching as Eileen and Scorpina battled it out, not daring to interfere.
"You pest!" Scorpina hissed. "I was Zedd's greatest general, the best assassin in thirty-one systems! What makes you think you can defeat me?"
"Easy," Eileen returned. She punched Scorpina in the face, and followed it up with a vicious kick to her side. "I'm a mother, and you messed with my son!" A flashy move, and Scorpina's stinger was knocked from her hands. The tip of her sword at Scorpina's throat, Eileen regarded the other woman for a long moment, then shook her head. "Nah. You're not worth it." With that, she hit Scorpina over the head with the hilt of her sword, sending the villainess into unconsciousness. Dropping the sword, she walked back over to her husband and son.
"Come on," she sighed, slinging an arm around Trevor's shoulders. "We have to meet the Rangers in the teleportation bay. I'll explain everything along the way."
Trevor nodded. "Fine with me. But would you mind keeping the outfit?" He ducked as she pretended to slug him.
Adam chuckled. His parents were certainly an interesting pair.
* * *
"And that's the story," Fred finished. Zordon had been unable to monitor the fight on the ship, so the Rangers were filling him in on it. The prisoners from the ship had all be teleported to the IGPF base, and Trevor and Eileen Park had headed for home. Adam and Franklin had exchanged looks at that, and had decided to remain in the Power Chamber. Neither of them thought they wanted to go back to the house for a while.
"You two certainly have an interesting family," Justin mused, shaking his head.
"And now both your parents know you're Rangers," Rosa continued. "Is that gonna cause problems?"
Franklin shook his head. "I don't think so. Dad was the one who had problems with the idea. Mom looks like she's gonna be pretty cool about it."
Adam suddenly looked at his watch. "I'd better get back to the college. My roommate's going to be wondering where I am."
"How are you going to explain those two psychos coming after you?" Tasha wanted to know.
Adam grinned. "That's easy. I'll just chalk it up to being from the Freak Zone," he chuckled, teleporting out.
The Turbo Rangers looked at each other. "What's the Freak Zone?" Fred asked. Before anyone could answer, however, the alarm went off. Turning to look at the viewing globe, the Rangers groaned in unison. A giant rabbit in a cowboy hat was bouncing through downtown.
"I'm almost afraid to ask," Justin sighed, "but what is that?"
"Divatox's newest monster," Alpha said reluctantly. "Hopalong Cassidy." The Rangers collapsed with laughter.
Zordon rolled his eyes. "Here we go again."